Berlin Roots_July 2017-8

Catenart Residency in Berlin

17-27 July 2017

Organized last July in Berlin by the organization Catena Artistorum, this residency, titled ‘Roots’, was a lot more than a geographical journey. It was a journey through time, through the depths of artistic creation, a journey towards the threshold of spirituality and, above all, a journey towards others.
A group of young Ukrainian artists –painters, sculptors and designers– came to practice and to deepen their art, to meet with other artists and learn from them.

In the words of their mentor, Serhiy SAVCHENKO, speaking about his own experience, to be an artist means “to keep one’s soul open and free.”

And for that, what better place than Berlin? A city highly cultivated, it was inflicted such deep physical and mental wounds that one might have thought they’d be lethal. The scars themselves proved fruitful.

I was honored to play a piece of piano for the participants of the residency in the dazzling setting of our friends’ Judith and Jan Montag’s apartment. I was impressed by the quality of their silence, so different from the empty presence of so many blasé audiences.

The final exhibition of all the works created in Berlin offered an intense and deeply moving visual conclusion to the residency. It was permeated with a warm atmosphere of friendship between of those present.

Accompanied by an Iranian musician and his thousand-year-old string instrument, our hosts’ daughter, Helena Montag, led us with her flute on a dream-like and fantastic journey –yet another one! A fleeting moment of true communion between the artistic form and its interpreters…

I am full of gratitude for these young artists who brought us such deep and rare emotion. We left Berlin different, richer.

Philippe Languin